Museum of Anthropology

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6393 Marine Dr NW, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2

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Overlooking English Bay, The Museum of Anthropology feels like it’s part of its landscape. Despite the contrast of nature and concrete, Arthur Erickson’s iconic building seems to emerge from the earth. It’s a remarkable structure that reflects the world-class, original work of the museum, which hosts one of the world’s finest displays of Northwest Coast First Nations art in addition to multiple indigenous art shows from a range of cultures.

“I think it’s a really moving building,” explains Dr. Anthony Shelton, Director of The Museum of Anthropology, who joined the museum in 2004, and oversaw a multi-year expansion project that increased the museum’s size by 50 percent. “Most museums are closed spaces, with no natural light. Here, there are huge windows and vistas to view the surrounding landscape.”

Upon entering, visitors walk down a ramp to reach the Great Hall: a vast chamber with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Yet it’s the stunning totem poles that command attention. Art and landscape are harmonized. Both are monumental.

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    Beautiful site, beautiful sight: phenomenal BC Native art and Pacific rim. The building itself is superb. A must see is the phenomenal European ceramic exhibit hidden in a dark corner behind the gift shop.

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    World-renowned for its displays of global artifacts and cultural objects, especially works by First Nations of the Pacific Northwest, Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology will entertain for hours upon hours. Located at the University of British Columbia’s stunning campus, MOA’s remarkable modern architecture contrasts with an outdoor collection of ancient totem poles. Inside, rotating exhibitions showcase work from around the world to offer insightful, critical explorations of themes relating to culture, sociology, politics and much, much more.

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    Take a trip to the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia to see their extensive collection of over 7,000 First Nation artifacts, most of which are from the Northwest coast. A focal point of the museum is Bill Reid’s huge sculpture entitled The Raven and the First Men. In the Great Hall there are totem poles, canoes and other life-sized exhibits and outside you’ll find the Bill Reid designed Haida-style ceremonial house and a sculpture garden to explore.

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    Built atop ancestral Musqueam land on the UBC campus, Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology is home to 535,000 archaeological objects from B.C. and around the world, including a remarkable collection of Northwest Coast First People’s artwork. Annual memberships for the world-renowned museum are a great gift option for anyone who’s interested in cultural anthropology. Benefits include unlimited free admission to the museum for a full year as well as invitations to exhibit-openings and discounts on MOA shop purchases. Memberships are $55 for an individual, $65 for a couple, or $75 for a family of two adults and up to four children.

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